- Written by John Wolf, LCMS Africa Region Project Manager John Wolf, LCMS Africa Region Project Manager
- Created: January 05 2022 January 05 2022
Sing to God, sing praises to His name; lift up a song to Him who rides through the deserts; His name is the Lord; exult before him!Psalm 68:4
I watched the south Sudanese women in their long blue robes sing at the front of the church while the sounds of drums beating kept the rhythm. The singing was distinct, the hymns spoke of Christ's salvation and reminded me of when I had first heard singing such as this a few years ago on a trip to Kakuma Refugee camp in northern Kenya to visit a congregation of South Sudanese Lutherans.
However, this choir was part of a small group of believers meeting in the front of a Lutheran church in western Iowa. After three weeks of racing across the US to reconnect with congregations, I found myself comforted and pleasantly displaced to be among the familiar sounds and sights of African Christians—not in Africa, but in a quiet church in Sioux City.
Knowing July through September would be busy for him as seminaries and schools would resume in Africa, John had a brief window in May/June this year for a trip stateside. Our home service in 2020 was cancelled due to COVID travel restrictions, and in 2021, as travel remained limited, John made a solo trip to connect with supporting congregations, friends and family.
It was 2015 and 2017 since we had visited supporters in the eastern US and it was high on John's list to spend time there. But how to visit so many with only one Sunday and some weekdays? God already had a plan and beautifully fit in evening potlucks, morning bible studies, home visits and mission board meetings to spend one-on-one in-person time to share how the Lord has continued to share the Good News of Christ even during these interesting times.
It happened that many churches were just reopening with in-person services and bible studies resuming in many parts of the U.S. Although his visits were brief, it was good to reconnect with congregations and, in some cases, visit newly supporting ones. We are very grateful for the support and warm welcomes offered that made this short trip such a blessing.
We didn't want to miss the opportunity to give our thanks to those who welcomed John's visit and for your continued prayers and support over this past year. As some constraints have eased, it has been a blessing to travel again. May God grant you a Merry Christmas and much blessing in this coming year.
John Wolf is the Africa Region Project Manager for the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He and his family, with the support of LCMS churches like Saint John’s, are serving in Kenya. Please keep them in your prayers! We encourage you to follow their family blog, www.hereiamsendmesendme.blogspot.com, which is also where you can sign up to their mailing list and make donations.